NHMC joined allies in a letter led by Public Knowledge opposing a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposal for a declaratory ruling to classify SMS text messaging and short codes as an “information service” rather than a “telecommunications service” under Title II. The ruling would deprive the Universal Service Fund (USF) of billions of dollars in contribution-eligible revenue at a time when the existing contribution pool is already on the decline. Importantly, USF funds programs like Lifeline, which is the only federal program that helps low-income Americans to get access to phone and internet service.
The letter urges the FCC to update the record with the financial impact of such a drastic proposal. It also explains why classifying text messaging as an entirely unregulated “information service” eliminates important consumer protections afforded by Title II.
Click here to review the letter.